Pretty Little Packages

I started today pretty excited & happy.  I found a recipe from Young & Raw on facebook recently that I wanted to try.  Iced Green Matcha…. mmm yummy!  I like hot Matcha; so I thought that I would try it cold.  Plus, since I am no longer drinking coffee– I was missing a morning drink. So I thought I would give this drink a try.

I mixed up the recipe quickly, (It’s fast & easy) ,tossed it in my mason jar, and ran out the door to work.

During my 45 minute commute to work, I sipped on my drink– enjoying the fun color. I would say about halfway to work, I realized I had to make an important decision regarding my Matcha.  Down the rest of my drink, so my co-workers would not have to see my green drink or proudly rock the Matcha in a Mason Jar.  I really wanted to sip on my drink and enjoy it most of the morning.  While I debated my predicament, I realized that if I carried my mason jar in, I was sure to get comments and questions. Perfect!  I get to tell people about my awesome healthy drink, my coworkers  already think I am nutty! So why not give people something to talk about and enjoy my crazy healthy drink!

StarbucksAs I approached work, I wondered if my drink was in a Starbucks cup or a cup from a local coffee shop, would they even think twice about it being green? Probably not. But make your drink at home, put it in a mason jar, and you will have their attention.  I mean, they have a drink that looks a lot like mine. Check it out straight from their site: Starbucks Iced Green Tea  Photo from http://so–hi.blogspot.com/2013/05/diy-starbucks-iced-green-tea-latte.html

My decision was made- take it in with me and enjoy it. Heck it looks a lot like the Starbucks version as is.

IMG_0568I was ready to have some fun!  The way I look at it, if people are noticing my green drink– then I can tell them about it. If I can share, people may start to get interested in living a healthier life.  Once someone is interested and is curious, then they might start making an attempt to living a cleaner lifestyle.  Once you start living a cleaner lifestyle, then you realize that it is not hard and might start cleaning up more in their lives.  I love watching someone become interested in nutrition and health!  I am not sure that there is much more that makes me happy.

Anyway, back to this morning.  I pulled into my work, popped my backpack on (which I still owe you a post about 😉 ) and off I went into the building.  I decided to swing through the cafeteria to top off the ice in my drink.  In the cafeteria there were a couple of coworkers and, sure enough, we struck up a conversation about my green drink…………………in a mason jar.

This was great!  I had the opportunity to share with them 2 healthy ideas!  We talked for a minute about how I drink out of glass and why it’s healthy for you AND my healthy green matcha!

Mission accomplished… I was able to share my green drink recipe with another 4 people before I left the cafeteria and more throughout the day.  Overall, I think personally getting the chance to talk with 10 people about my green drink in one day is pretty awesome.  So don’t be afraid to make your own pretty packages or to carry them in public.  You never know when you influence someone to change their life.

So I tip my pretty green glass to you!  I hope that you will try Matcha in a Mason Jar soon! 

 

Cherish it before it’s gone.

It’s been almost a week since I last posted, YIKES!  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in front of my computer wrapping up my birthday month. As I walked out on the barn to feed the horses, Nash walked next to me.  Since he was a puppy, he has pushed his head right under my left hand and we walk together.  As he is showing more signs of nearing the end, I cherish these times more and more.  The last week, I have slowed down and enjoyed things around the family more than usual. The baby sister just pulled out of the driveway to leave for college. It’s been fun to have her around for a week.   She brings a unique fun to life and makes cherishing the little moments worthwhile. Today I challenge you to take a minute, smell the roses and enjoy life… All aspects of yours!  I promise it will enrich you.  Look for the positive things, find ways to bless others because it’s good for you!

 

Day 19: Awesome Sauce… I mean Awesome Hummus

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chips + Chick Peas = AWESOME SAUCE.. Okay you might be thinking, peanut butter and hummus? Do they really go together? Answer: YES!

Let me back up a second and give yoe the background. We have an awesome family friend that challenged me to bring healthy sweet stuff to our 4th of July bash. I take sweet challenges seriously, VERY SERIOUSLY. I played around on my favorite food blogs and scoured my computer; until I had a couple of good ideas, I was sure would not disappoint the group. It was on this journey that I found my new favorite recipe.

I believe that this recipe originally comes from Chocolate Covered Katie… if you have not checked out her site, you should. Some of my favorite recipes are from her. I highly recommend the Mushroom Stroganoff. Recipe: HereIMG_7581

Anyway I found this recipe on Veggierettie’s site and like Veggierettie, I am obsessed with it! In fact, as I type this I am sitting in the back of the dually truck as we are heading to brothers lacrosse game, I will be munching on some just as soon.  Well  as I remove the Teague, who is well over 50 lbs. off my lap and the computer.

You should note a few things before I give you the recipe.

  1. I am not a food blogger.
  2. I am not a food photographer, I simply shot these pics off of my iphone.

Alright here is the recipe…

Ingredients:

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Here is how I make this incredible hummus.

I pit the date and toss them in water so they are just covered. Veggierettie suggests soaking them for at least a half hour. I soaked them overnight the first time I made this hummus. Pick a time frame that works for you.

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Open your garbanzo beans can, drain the water and rinse them. Remove the excess water.

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Toss in the food processor. Add your peanut butter, vanilla and dates. At this point, I do not add much of the soaking water.

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Begin to process the ingredients. I stop several times to mix in the stuff on the sides of the processor.

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I add the soaking water to make the consistency how I want it. Once you have the consistency correct, hand mix the chocolate chips in. Veggierettie suggest 2-3 tablespoons, I eyeball it. You can never have too much chocolate in my opinion.

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Now comes the hardest part… Putting it in the fridge for a little while to let it sit. I found that it is 1000’s better the next day, but I don’t always have the patience to wait until the next day to start digging in to the sweet treat.

Recommended things to eat with this hummus:

IMG_7551Apples
Banana
Chips—if I eat chips I try to get the Chia Seeds, Sprouted chips . They are fantastic with this hummus.

 

Oh did I mention… this treat is HEALHTY?  According to the friend that challenged me to bring some sweet treats to the 4th of July bash, this recipe rocked it!

Okay, so know you have my new favorite HEALTHY, SWEET, recipe… what’s yours?

Day 17: Life smells better when you make your own detergent…

I guess better late than never! Sorry guys I did not get this to you yesterday… I am making up for it today with Day 17 and 18’s post.

Who said a food processor is just for processing food? Not me! I have used mine for a few different things. One of which is making my favorite natural homemade product: LAUNDRY DETERGENT. I mean, I am a pretty big nerd and hippie to get excited about homemade laundry detergent! I am okay with it.

Reasons I love homemade detergent:

  1. It’s healthy… Free of the bad chemicals in commercially processed detergent.
  2. CHEAP!
  3. It’s a great way to get your food processor clean.
  4. You can make it smell pretty with essential oils. If you leave the majority unscented in a big box then you can change the scent at any point in time.

 

Making detergent is so easy, especially with a food processor. A couple of years ago, many of my friends were posting online about making their own laundry detergent. All you have to do is a quick google search to find just how popular making your own detergent is. (Note, below are a couple of links to other sites that highlight how easy it is to make your own detergent.) It was about the same time that I was trying to cut out fragrances that were not essential oil based, so I thought why not try making my own detergent. You only need a couple of ingredients and a food processor to make it easier on yourself. You can do it by hand, but the processor makes breaking up the bar of soap much easier.

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Ingredients:

* 1 cup of Borax
* 1 cup of Washing Soda
* 1 bar of castile soap – you can buy a scented version but if you want to scent your soap by essential oils buy the plain bar

 

Here is how I make detergent in a food processor.  I would love it if you tried it too!

  1. Cut bar of Castile soap into 1 inch and place in the food processor.

Note: if you do not have a food processor, you will need to grate the bar of soap by hand.

  1. Pulse the food processor to start. Eventually, I turn the food processor on until the soap is close to a powdered consistency.
  2. Add the borax and castile soap. Mix until all ingredients are blended together.
  3. Add several drops of essential oil and pulse. I like lavender, or cedar wood, or a lemon scent. Be creative at this point, add oils that you love smelling!
  4. Place your homemade detergent in a container and wash your food processor! It should it should be super clean, smell amazing, and ready for your next “food” processing adventure.

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I hope you have fun taking on this new adventure and try making your own, HEALTHY, smell good, cheap laundry detergent soon!

Google search for homemade detergents: http://wellnessmama.com/462/homemade-laundry-detergent/ http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/ http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/homemade-laundry-detergents.html

Skinny Does Not Mean Healthy- Day 14

Today’s theme is vulnerable, most people feel vulnerable when you see them without makeup. I have a friend that won’t answer the phone without putting on her makeup. Others feel exposed in sweat pants, or with out of control hair. I am not most people… most days you can catch me without makeup, in sweats during or after a workout and my hair lives out of control if I don’t straighten it.  Today, I want to be vulnerable with you… I am going to let you into a personal look at a challenging time in my life.

Recently, I dropped into a co-workers office to share some news and her response to my news was “I guess Skinny does not mean healthy…”Skinny Girl

That was a statement I had to choke down the other day after sharing with my co-worker that I have Lyme’s Disease. I love my co-worker but that statement hit me like a ton of bricks… I mean, the word disease is not really all warm and fluffy! It’s definitely not a word that I want to use to describe a time in my life. Hey, I don’t even want to admit that I have a disease. I felt like I had sewn a scarlet A on my chest. No matter how hard I tried to deny it, my body would not let me reject this new title. But when I let that thought settle, I realized it was true. Skinny does not mean healthy. I am not the skinniest girl alive or even the skinniest I have ever been, but I am not my healthiest either. I am however fighting a new, unexpected battle.

Let me back up a little here, I was excited for this summer to be full of great workouts, healthy food, lots of wakeboarding, riding the horses, hanging out with friends, open water swims (I had my eye on 3 more states for the summer) and a GREAT tennis season.  What I did not expect was to put all of this on hold to let my body heal. Several weeks ago, I was debating whether or not to play a tennis match. I had strained my elbow, and it was feeling “iffy” at the time. Then,x there was the pesky rash that was extending down my arm. But I am tough—I decided to play.

Warming up, my arm felt pretty good. I had applied Kineseo tape to my arm to help support it. I started to notice that I was just a little bit of off my normal game. Everyone goes through days where you just don’t play your best, but it’s my job to figure out a way to pull myself together and play well.  I could not quite place what was wrong. I chalked it up to the heat, drank some more water and stepped onto the court. Mentally, I was feeling pretty good. The court I was playing on and I had some good mojo going from the previous season. This is the court that I had beaten a very strong player on last year in a tough mental match; 6-4, 6-4. Generally, scores like that reflect just a slight mental edge.  We started our match, and no matter what I tried I felt like the normal me had checked out. Replaced by a robot.

As the match progressed, I had trouble reading the ball (knowing where it was going when my opponent hit it). I felt like my legs weighed IMG_7144100lbs. each. I knew what the score was, but when I called it out, different numbers came out of my mouth. I was starting to get concerned. On change-over (every two games we switch which side of the court we play on), I ate most of an apple and a couple of prunes; hoping my blood sugar was low and that the normal me would soon return. No such luck. My vision did not return, and I was beginning to get scared because I did not understand what was going on. I got really concerned when I tossed the ball and forgot what I was supposed to do. The match was over in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I crawled off the court and called for my family to come pick me up. I was afraid to try to drive, thinking that I would not be able to control the car.

As I waited for a ride, I started to panic and called a friend to keep me calm until the cavalry arrived. Thankfully, my dad and brother were around the corner. My brother packed my bag that I left open on the court and carried it out to the car. On the drive home, I reached out to several Naturopathic doctors asking for things I could do to help me feel better. Once home, I showered; I took a handful of vitamin C; and I curled up in bed.

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The rash on my arm

The next day was spent working with a great team, figuring out what all was going on in my body. By mid-day the Naturopaths felt pretty certain it was Lymes. In the middle of that pesky rash, we saw the bullet hole (the bite mark). All I could think, SERIOUSLY…I… have Lymes? And oh wait it gets better! My digestive track was not absorbing the proper nutrients I was putting in it; my heart and liver were stressed! Time to make a game plan to get better. In case you are not familiar with Lymes, it is a disease that one can get from ticks or mosquitos.

According to WebMD the symptoms of Lymes include: “In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu-like symptoms that can include a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. You also may experience a large, expanding skin rash around the area of the tick bite. In more advanced disease, nerve problems and arthritis, especially in the knees, may occur. […]Heart problems. Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme disease patients develops heart problems[..]Other symptoms. and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.”

I left the clinic armed with supplements to take and an eating plan to stick to. I feel like standing on the rooftop, and telling everyone that I am so grateful to have a great support system of people in my life that will help dig in and get my body back to functioning at its best.

This past month has pushed me to grow more than I thought possible. One of the scariest and biggest symptoms that I have been experiencing is mental fogginess. Strike that, it’s more than mental fogginess. There have been times over the last month that I could not get the words from my brain to come out of my mouth. Or, I have been known to say things that don’t make sense. These are the moments that can scar the crap out of anyone! These moments have earned me a new nickname at work, “Lymie.” One day, I was reviewing my PowerPoint slides & presentation that I was to deliver the next day to the international finance department for my company with my boss. I was staring at the screen and unable to deliver my well prepared speech. A little more than a scary feeling… My boss and I made a game plan, just in case I was not feeling well the next day; I went home for extra sleep.  God was awesome, the next day I had a mentally clear day and presented my speech without incident.

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259No one expects to be sidelined. I certainly was not expecting my summer to be a slower paced summer. I have stuck to the game plan that docs laid out that day. I have been good with my supplements, great with my eating, and have made more than a conscious effort to take care of my body so it can heal. It’s been over a month since the tennis match night and I am finally beginning to work out again.  I even was able take a run on the wakeboard…Yay! If all goes well, I will play my first match in 5+ weeks on Thursday.

Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you. I may not be standing in front of you without make up on, but to me letting you see a little bit of my crazy month is a lot more intimidating.